Posted: July 18, 2016

Sheri Douglas puts her years of childbirth experience supporting GRH’s patients with the most complex needs.

Sheri has worked at GRH since 1999. Her experience in the childbirth program includes front line staff nursing for labour, delivery and postpartum care and as an education practice leader.

Now as a clinical nurse specialist, Sheri helps make sure GRH’s care teams are aware of and fully understand a patient’s care needs. This involves a lot of discussion between different health providers.

Sheri is passionate about the role because she enjoys helping patients have the best and safest birth experience right in their home community.

A portrait of GRH childbirth clinical nurse specialist Sheri Douglas
Could you provide an example of a health condition that will require some special management to ensure a safe delivery?

Pregnancies can be considered complex or high-risk for numerous reasons. These can often affect multiple body systems including musculoskeletal concerns; increased body mass index; heart conditions; bleeding or clotting problems; disabilities; chronic health conditions including lupus, crohn’s, HIV; mental health concerns and current or previous pregnancy concerns or complications.

Of the 4,100 or so babies born every year at GRH, what percentage of cases would this represent?

I am directly involved in approximately 10 per cent of the patients that deliver or plan to deliver here at GRH

What does it involve when a new mom may have a chronic condition? Do you meet with the patient, the care team, or both?

A care plan for each patient is developed through consult and collaboration with the patient, the primary care provider and any other specialists that may be involved.

Depending on the patient’s condition this may include consultation with an anesthesiologist, a pediatrician if there are concerns for the baby, an intensivist (a specialist in intensive care), and other experts from high risk hospitals. 

What kind of changes might be made to support a mom with another health condition?

Most importantly is ensuring that the staff caring for the patient has the education and information needed regarding the patient’s condition to provide safe and appropriate care for this mom and baby when they present to hospital.

It also involves ensuring that any necessary resources specific to this patient’s care plan are available including medications, supplies or equipment and staff knows how to access and safely use them. 

Why do you enjoy this role?

It is a great opportunity to have a positive impact on the family’s experience and care. Providing this service allows these families to receive appropriate, safe care in their own community. It is an opportunity to directly support patients as well as prepare and support staff to be able to provide the best care possible for these families.

What’s it like for your patients when they’re able to have a good delivery?

The feedback from the patients has been very positive. Patients have expressed gratitude and appreciation that their birth plans and all of their health care needs are being met and they can enjoy this amazing moment of bringing new life into the world safely and in their own community

Sheri Douglas In Childbirth Room

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